Mr Putin praised the results of the recent referendum held in Chechnya, saying that the vast majority of the Chechen people supported the draft constitution and laws on parliamentary and presidential elections proposed by the Russian President, and that Chechen residents had made their choice directly and democratically – for peace and development, together with Russia. All those who did not lay down arms are now fighting for their false ideals and against their own people, Mr Putin said.
The President instructed the Cabinet to finish plans for the recovery of the Chechen Republic as soon as possible.
Participants in the meeting also discussed the situation in Iraq in connection with the American-British military operation directed against Saddam Hussein's regime (which started March 19) and the opening of refugee camps on Iran’s territory by the Emergency Situations Ministry. Emergencies Minister Shoigu reported that on March 23, the last equipment for a camp for 5,000 people was delivered to Iran. After this, the Ministry would send medical staff to the camp.
Mr Putin pointed out the rise in victims of the Iraqi conflict and how the both sides treated their prisoners of war. The President expressed hope that Iraq would abide by the international law protecting prisoners of war.